I spent my entire life either in Philadelphia or close to the Philadelphia metropolitan area. I went to school at Villanova University where I studied Civil Engineering and graduated with a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering. I am currently working in Philadelphia's Old City where I am a Civil Engineer Airport Designer.
Through Villanova's Engineering Program I was constantly challenged and had to devise strategies in order to help me retain the required information and develop my test taking skills. I use these skills to this day when I take state certification and licensing exams. I learned these techniques through trial and error and know that they will be of use to everyone. I have learned that tutoring is a two-way street. The students learn about the subject material and the tutor learns about the most effective way to communicate with them. With that being said, I look forward to working and learning with you and developing any skills that you feel need attention.
Undergraduate Degree: Villanova University - Bachelors, Civil Engineering
What is your teaching philosophy?
Anyone can achieve success in their life; all they need is dedication, a positive attitude and the right techniques. Dedication and attitude can be inspired, and I have the proper techniques/tools for proficiency in any subject.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
First, I would give a general quiz on the subject matter to gauge their proficiency. From their quiz, I could diagnose their strengths and weakness. If they already know which areas are problematic for them, we can skip the quiz and examine the chapter at hand.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Throughout school I was always dependent on a good teacher, which is unfortunate because good teachers are difficult to find. I would have the student take a quiz to discover what kind of learner they are, such as visual, audio or tactile, and then have them recreate their teacher’s lessons plan in whichever way suits their aptitudes. That will cause the student to be engaged and eager to learn the subject.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I would put together a system of rewards. I discovered that positive reinforcement is much more effective at keeping someone motivated than consequences. It was very troublesome for me to stay focused in school and at home, but with effective studying strategies and constructive mental breaks, one can be motivated much longer than previously thought.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Difficulty learning a subject often reduces to weak fundamentals. I would reduce the subject at hand into its basics parts and create a lesson plan that focuses on diagrams, if they are a visual learner; hands-on demonstrations, if they are a tactile learner; or a combination of the two.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Reading comprehension was one of my weakest subject areas, but after some dedication I was able to turn it into one of my strengths. I discovered how to "actively" read, and started highlighting key terms in each paragraph to understand the idea being conveyed. I kept using this technique to help me focus, and it eventually became second nature to me.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Patience is the key to working with students and learning about the students on an intellectual level. I discovered that tutoring works both ways, and once you understand a student on an intellectual level, you can teach to their strengths.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Many times students aren't interested in a subject because they don't find it applicable to their daily life. They have trouble drawing a correlation between math and the real world. I can show them what each subject has to offer and how it pertains or will pertain to their daily lives. Once their excitement is stoked, teaching them will be much easier.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I find quizzes to be the most practical and easy demonstration of understanding; therefore, I would use that as the first barometer. I would then have the student teach the lesson back to me and ask them potential pitfall questions to make sure they understand the source material fluently.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Many students believe they are very weak in a subject because they try to look at the whole picture at once, and then they become overwhelmed with how much material they need to learn. I would demonstrate their ability by reviewing a certain topic in a subject area that they are familiar with, and build any complex topics off of that.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
The report card would be the easiest gauge of their needs, but if I don't have access to that, I would ask them and tell them which subjects they feel they are weak in, and ask a few pointed questions to further solidify my lesson plan and from where to draw my lesson plan.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
Flashcards are one of the best devices to train a person's memory. Diagrams are a big help as well, and in school I've always felt that live demonstrations were always a conducive avenue to my understanding of a difficult subject. I try to incorporate a variety of these techniques into my lessons.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Learning the student's strengths is always the top priority in communicating with them. I usually ask the student to take a certain quiz to hone in on their aptitudes, and from there I can tailor my lesson plan accordingly.